Time and tide wait for no man and I’m much older than I was before kick off last night.
I was at Celtic Park in August 2013 when a late James Forrest goal sent Celtic into the Champions League.
That night the place bounced as only that stadium can.
Celtic Park on a European night, like Croker on All-Ireland final day is one of the great amphitheatres of sport anywhere in the world.
This time, the Hoops clung on in a hostile environment to edge it against tough opponents.
In 2013 and last night in Israel the man in the dugout was reared a Celtic supporter.
It isn’t an essential occupation qualification for the Parkhead hot seat, but I think it probably helps.
Neil Lennon’s Celtic could battle and scrap and I think that the Brendan Rodgers’ team will be of similar mettle
It is undeniable that Rodgers’ team rode their luck last night and I’m told that there were a few players suffering from a “stomach bug”.
I understand that such an occurrence is not unheard of for teams visiting Israel.
However, it is mission accomplished and the man from Antrim has passed his first big test in the Parkhead job.
Celtic will now be the beneficiary of a massive cash windfall.
The solidarity payment to the other clubs in the top flight of Scotland will be gratefully received
However, Celtic in the Champions League puts the Parkhead club in an even more unassailable financial position.
Of course, we must not forget that Mr David Cunningham King is poised to “over-invest” as he is prepared to do “whatever it takes” to drive the four-year-old institution forwards.
Although the stenographers will wish it otherwise there is only one club in Scotland of the stature of Celtic and that’s Celtic…
The hacks would be delighted if Scotland’s newest club was in the Champions League, but they can dream on.
I’m told that Preston North End did not back down on the transfer fee for Joe Garner.
This means that Sevco will have stumped up north of £1m for the first tranche with the second instalment before the end of the season.
Almost certainly this can only be paid for by someone going out the door, someone like James Tavernier.
Moreover, next month Sevco will have to pay VAT on the season ticket sales.
In the past few days, the Puma Division sent a letter to the Holding Company Vehicle apropos their dispute with them.
It was a clearly worded final warning to the chaps in the Blue Room to show the Dunkirk Spirit.
The Germans were being reasonable and Sevco has one more chance to cut and run before the Puma Division runs all over them in a one-sided courtroom battle.
Across the City the picture could not be more different.
I was told last night by a source very close to James McCarthy that talks are on-going about bringing him to Parkhead on a loan deal.
Discussions are also being held with Man City about making Paddy Roberts a Celtic player.
For the avoidance of doubt, Celtic is a profit making business with a credit line from a bank.
The captain of ship has already proved that he can navigate a clear course to better days through stormy qualification waters.
Meanwhile Sevco look to be all washed up.